Given him my bat: Hardik Pandya hopes Ireland’s Harry Tector can get IPL contract in future

India captain Hardik Pandya heaped praise on Harry Tector, saying the 22-year-old Ireland batter has it in him to not just feature in the Indian Premier League but in other high-quality tournaments across the globe. Hardik’s comments came after India defeated Ireland by 7 wickets in the first of a 2-match T20I series in Dublin on Sunday, June 26.

Hardik Pandya lauded Harry Tector, highlighting that the young right-hand batter’s shot-making, especially through the off-side left him in awe. The all-rounder, who led India for the first time in international cricket, said he has also gifted Tector a bat after the first T20i.

Ireland vs India, 1st T20I: Report | Highlights

Harry Tector flaunted his batting skills in front of a packed crowd in Malahide as the 22-year-old hit 64 from just 33 balls. Tector’s composure was on display as he put the pressure right back on India after Ireland slipped to 22 for 3 inside 4 overs on an overcast afternoon during which Bhuvneshwar Kumar was getting plenty of swing.

Tector launched into lef-arm spinner Axar Patel to get going and hit 3 sixes and 6 boundaries in a stunning knock. Despite being a 12-over game, Tector did not try anything fancy but kept the scoreboard moving with orthodox shots. Tector’s ability to pierce the gaps on the off-side stood out as 42 of his 64 runs came through the off-side a a strike rate of 200.

“Oh, he (Harry Tector) played some fantastic shots. And obviously, he’s 22. I think I have given him a bat as well. So maybe he can score some more sixes and maybe get an IPL contract,” Hardik told the press after the 1st T20I in Dublin.

“And I wish him luck and, you know, just look after him. Well, give him the right guidance. It’s not always about cricket. It’s about understanding your own lifestyle and understanding what is at stake. If you can manage that, I’m sure he’s going to be around not just in the IPL, but in all the leagues in the world.”

HARDIK RELISHES CROWD SUPPORT

Meanwhile, Hardik thanked the cricket fans who had turned up in large numbers and waited patiently during the rain delay on Sunday. The stands at the Malahide Cricket Club was packed as large number of Indian cricket fans had come to watch the Men in Blue, who were playing in Ireland for the first time in 4 years.

The toss was initially delayed following which another spell of shower led to a nearly 2-hour delay. The match was reduced to 12-overs-per-side contest and Hardik expressed deight that the fans did not go home disappointed.

“Look when it was raining, I was just thinking you got to feel sorry for the fans because we were going to be playing a match here after a very long time, completely packed crowd, genuinely felt that we were playing back in India.

“So the overriding sentiment was let’s just get on with the match, even if it was going to be a 5-over game, that would be great. Luckily, for the fans and for us we had a 12-over game that gave an opportunity to both the teams to get to the ground.

“When you come so far, to play against Ireland and it is very important for them that the match had to be played and good that it happened,” Hardik added.

Hardik shone with the bat as the skipper hit a 12-ball 24 in a 64-run stand with Deepak Hooda as India chased down a 109-run target in just 9.1 overs to go 1-0 up in the 2-match series.

India and Ireland will meet in the 2nd and final T20I in Malahide on Tuesday, June 28.

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